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Many car crashes can be prevented by following a few basic tips.

A Washington County, Missouri woman was killed last week in a car crash. A news report suggests that the crash was preventable.  The crash is like many we hear and read about in that the resulting harm could have been avoided had the drivers paid attention to those basic rules of the road we all learned as teenagers.

The crash happened on Highway 21 in DeSoto. According to the news report, a driver swerved to avoid a second vehicle that had suddenly slowed to make a turn.  After swerving, the car struck a third vehicle traveling in the opposite direction on Highway 21.  The crash severely injured both drivers of the cars that collided and killed the front seat passenger of the car that swerved.

The crash reinforces the need to always follow a few basic rules of the road:

  • Signal your intent to change the direction of your vehicle, whether you intend to stop, slow, turn or move your vehicle into a different lane;
  • Keep enough distance between the front of your vehicle and the rear of any vehicle you’re following so that you can bring your vehicle to a safe stop at the speed it’s traveling should the lead vehicle act in an unexpected or erratic manner; and
  • Always keep a vigilant lookout for the other guy as you never know when another driver will drive their vehicle in a dangerous manner.

These rules come into play in nearly every case I handle involving car collisions. I talk about them every time I ride with my teenage daughter.  I think about them every time I see a driver on the road looking at their cell phone, reaching for the radio or eating a sandwich.

More often than not, my daughter follows these basic rules to a “t”. But, I’m still concerned about her every time I think about her driving.  I trust her; it’s the other guy that worries me.


Matt Devoti is a partner with Casey & Devoti, a St. Louis-based personal injury law firm.  Matt handles a wide variety of personal injury cases with a special emphasis on victims of drunk, impaired and distracted driving.  Matt and his law partner, Matt Casey, are also authorized speakers for’s ‘End Distracted Driving’ Student Awareness Initiative.

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Laurie

    I always try to follow the rules of the road to the best of my ability. One thing I make sure to do is leave my cell phone out of reach so I am not tempted to use it. If I absolutely need to make a call or send a message, I pull into a parking lot of a gas station or supermarket where it is safe. I see a lot of erratic driving and have almost gotten hit by people that are on their cell phones, so it is important to have one hundred percent focus on the road.

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